Survey: 61 percent of British Muslims want Sharia courts

Check out the other results, too. “War torpedoes Labour’s Muslim backing,” from the Asian News, with thanks to Anthony:

The special poll based on a survey of 500 British Muslims found that a clear majority want Islamic law introduced into this country in civil cases relating to their own community. Some 61 per cent wanted Islamic courts – operating on sharia principles — “so long as the penalties did not contravene British law”. A major part of civil cases in this country deal with family disputes such as divorce, custody and inheritance.

The poll also found a high level of religious observance with just over half saying they pray five times a day, every day – although women are shown to be more devout than men. The poll reveals that 88 per cent want to see schools and workplaces in Britain accommodating Muslim prayer times as part of their normal working day.

The poll suggests that the Muslim community is perhaps more integrated than many might imagine, with 62 per cent say they number “a lot or quite a few” non-Muslim people among their closest friends and 35 per cent saying they would consider marrying someone who was not a Muslim.

There is also a strong appetite within the Muslim community to become a closer part of British life with 40 per cent saying they need to do more to integrate into mainstream British culture.

The ICM poll was commissioned as part of a groundbreaking Guardian exercise to gauge the mood of Britain’s younger Muslim generation. In addition to the poll, 103 young Muslims were brought together to discuss the most important issues facing their future, from identity and integration to the war on terror.

The idea of sharia courts in Britain is likely to cause considerable controversy, but religious courts already operate in this country to serve other faith communities such as the Jewish rabbinical courts. Such courts have limited powers of enforcement of their rulings.
On other matters, the poll however shows that there is something of a crisis in the leadership of British Muslims with only 37 per cent saying they think that Muslim religious leaders or the Muslim Council of Britain reflect their own views.

It confirms the overwhelming rejection of violence among British Muslims with 86 per cent saying they believe it is unacceptable for religious or political groups to use violence for political ends. A further 69 per cent believe it is right that they should inform on people who are involved or connected with terrorist activities.
However, there is no such unanimity on the question of whether girls should be able to wear the hijab to school. While 55 per cent say they believed schools should not have the right to determine the dress codes of pupils, a significant minority of British Muslims – 44 per cent – thought they should be able to lay down such a policy on what is worn to school.

See below for other poll results.

President Bush and Tony Blair have said that the war on terror is not a war against Islam. Do you agree or disagree? March 2004 / Now
Agree 20% 14%
Disagree 68% 80%
Don’t know 12% 6%

Have you experienced any hostility or abuse towards you personally in the UK or any member of your family from non-Muslims because of your religion? June 2002 March 2004 Now
Yes 35% 33% 38%
No 65% 67% 61% Don’t know – – 1%

There should be a new law to make incitement to religious hatred a criminal offence Agree 81%
Disagree 15%
Don’t know 4%

Despite the right to free speech, In Britain people who insult or criticise Islam should face criminal prosecution Agree 58%
Disagree 36%
Don’t know 5%

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggBlogger PostDeliciousEmailPinterestRedditStumbleUponPrint


  1. says

    This is great.

    Stone them to death, lash them, chop their hands off. I’m all for Sharia law for Muslims in the UK. Perhaps we can start decapitating them for parking offences as well.

    Hey Dhimmi Watch, you’ve got this one wrong. Fuss about nothing I say. At last, I have some common ground with British Muslims. In fact, I would like to put myself forward as a volunteer to dish out such punishments. Perhaps I could stand in when Abdul has the day off.

  2. says

    …35 per cent saying they would consider marrying someone who was not a Muslim.

    A Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman but a Muslim woman may never marry a non-Muslim man.

    so long as the penalties did not contravene British law

    Penalties? How about justice, like equal share of inheritance for males and females, or equal right to sue for divorce for women and men, or equal right to child custody for mothers as well as fathers? Even in a discussion about civil law these people cannot think outside of the box of slavery and punishment. They try to mitigate concern by pointing out that they only want the right to practice their family law. Well here’s a hot news flash: medieval Islamic “family values” are not even remotely compatible with British law, or American law, or Canadian law, or Chinese law, or Japanese law, or Indian law, or any other modern body of law extant in the world.

    Despite the right to free speech, In Britain people who insult or criticise Islam should face criminal prosecution: Agree 58%

    The soil of the West is soaked in the blood of too many heros who gave up their lives so that we can enjoy the right of free speech. The Muslims have always failed to understand how profoundly ingrained the principle of free speech is in the very foundation of all of Western civilization. It is an essential element of our civilization that we can trace back more than two millenia. Compared to this, Islam and its entire history is a mere infant among the world’s ideologies.

  3. says

    Islam is going to conquer Europe and I am reaching the opinion that they deserve it. Nothing can stop the juggernaut now. The Islamic menace is within the sanctuary of the castle walls of the old cities of Europe and from within it is doing what fourteen centuries of experience demands.

    As we see one concession after another made to Islam and more and more coming, capped off by the coup de grace of Turkey being made a EU member, we’ve got some serious difficulties ahead. But for the most part, the Europeans are the architects of their own destruction and are now being fed unbelievable propaganda urging them to accept their occupiers and programming them for the coming cultural transformation which will affect the continent for millennia to come.

    All European elites actively promoting this are criminal and they deserve their fate as do we, the USA, which cannot come to terms with its own cultural modifications resulting from those who hate the white race and Judeo-Christian civilization and seek to make it extinct by uncontrolled immigration and massive lies on a scale that is on par with the greatest NAZI propaganda.

  4. says

    Problem – Survey: 61 percent of British Muslims want Sharia courts
    Solution – 61 percent of British Muslims should move to Saudi Arabia/any other Islamic country

  5. says

    You just cannot compare the Rabbinical Courts, Canon Law or the Consistory courts of the Church of England with Sharia Law. The first three spring from the same Judeo/Christian/classical roots as the English Common Law of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Napoleonic Code (based on Roman Law) of Scotland. Sharia Law springs (slithers) from something completely incompatible and unethical. Its tenets are immoral, dishonourable,shameful, contemptible.
    If they want Sharia Law then let them return to Pakistan.

  6. says

    I would be greatly interested in reading examples of when a Sharia court would have a different verdict than a secular one and that verdict would not be incompatible with the secular law.

    Something besides the inheritance, etc. Is there really a need for a devout Muslim to go through an Islam court, or is merely to get Islam’s foot further into society’s door?

    This is a sincere, not a rhetorical question. Why do Rabbinical courts exist? What special verdicts do they reach?

  7. says

    Speaking of surveys, this is pretty recent as well,

    Intolerance Is Still High
    – Survey shows significant support for radical Islam in Indonesia
    The Jakarta Post, November 12, 2004
    Intolerance Is Still High
    M. Taufiqurrahman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
    Despite the general rejection of violent acts carried out in the name of Islam, a large percentage of Indonesians were not tolerant toward people of different faiths, a survey revealed on Thursday.
    “Forty-nine percent of respondents staunchly oppose the building of church in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood,” said the survey jointly conducted by the Freedom Institute, the Liberal Islam Network and the Center for Islamic and Community Studies (PPIM) of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN).
    It also found that 40.8 percent of Muslim respondents were wary about Christians conducting services in a majority Muslim neighborhood.
    However, respondents showed little resistance about the possibility of Christians teaching at public schools. “Only 24.8 percent of respondents opposed such a possibility,” it said.
    The survey found that in general, Muslims oppose the radical interpretation of Islamic teachings as espoused by hard-line groups that promote violence as a means to achieve their goals.
    It said the rate of approval for actions taken by radical groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) and regional terror network Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) was considerably low.
    “Of the 41.8 percent of respondents who are knowledgeable about Jamaah Islamiyah, only 13.4 percent of them supported the organization’s aims. For the Islamic Defenders Front, of 37.6 percent of respondents who know about the organization, 18.1 percent approved their actions,” the survey said.
    The survey interviewed 1,200 respondents in the country’s 32 provinces between Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, and has a 3 percent margin of error.
    JI has been blamed for a string of terror attacks across the country since 2000, including the Oct. 12, 2002 Bali bombing and the attack on the JW Marriott Hotel on Aug. 5, 2003.
    The FPI is notorious for its raids against Jakarta’s nightspots, especially during the Ramadhan fasting month, claiming that such venues promoted sinful acts that tarnished the holy month. The MMI is a radical Islamic group once led by cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir.
    The survey also discovered that only 15.9 percent of respondents supported the terror attacks allegedly carried out by top terror suspect Noordin Moh. Top, Azahari bin Husin and convicted Bali bombers Imam Samudra and Amrozi.
    “Fifty-nine percent of the respondents disagreed with the attacks, while another 25.2 percent did not give an opinion,” it said.
    Researcher Sjaiful Mujani said the survey findings indicated that the public were divided over how to respond as regards the variety of Islam-based agenda that exist today.
    “Although they stand against acts of terror carried out on behalf of Muslims in general, a large number of Muslims in the country are intolerant toward those who subscribe to different religious beliefs, especially Christians,” he said.
    Associated Press November 12, 2004
    Survey shows significant support for radical Islam in Indonesia
    A survey showed Friday that many Indonesians support the implementation of strict Islamic law, with nearly 60 percent saying they want adulterers to be whipped and 40 percent backing cutting off a thief’s hand.
    The survey, conducted by the U.S.-funded Freedom Institute, also found 16 percent of people polled refused to condemn terror attacks by the al-Qaida linked regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah if they were committed to fight Muslim oppression. Still, 59 percent condemned the attacks, while 25 percent said they had no opinion.
    The findings will likely rekindle concerns that radical Islam is gaining a foothold in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, which has long embraced a moderate form of the religion.
    “It is a worrying phenomenon,” said Ulil Abdala, the institute’s head. “There is a strong indication that radical Islam is gaining ground. It’s definitely something that moderate Indonesian Muslims must take note.”
    He added many uneducated Indonesians may not have access to information about the terror attacks that have hit the country in recent years or their only sources of information are militant Islamic groups.
    Since 2002, Indonesia has suffered three major bombings blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah that have killed 224 people.
    The survey, which was carried out for the first time earlier this month, showed many Indonesians support the establishment of laws based on the Muslim holy book Quran.
    Fifty-nine percent of people polled backed whipping adulterers and 40 percent said thieves should have their hands hacked off. Meanwhile, 39 percent said they support polygamy for men and 40 percent oppose a women becoming president.
    Many Indonesian Muslims also expressed intolerant attitudes toward Christians, with 50 percent saying they oppose churches in Muslim-majority areas, the survey said.
    A Catholic school near Jakarta was closed for three weeks in October when a Muslim group built the two-meter-high (seven-foot-high) wall in front of its gates. The group accused the school of aggressive proselytizing.
    However, 82 percent of Indonesians oppose a hardline militant group, the Islamic Defenders Front, which is notorious for raiding Western cafes and bars during the holy month of Ramadan.
    The Freedom Institute surveyed 1,200 people in all 32 provinces, and the poll had a margin of error of 3 percent.
    More than 85 percent of the country’s 210 million people are Muslims, while Christians are 8 percent, Hindus 2 percent and Buddhists less than 1 percent.

    50 odd percent is a large large number of votes.

  8. says

    So, around 31% of British Muslims, according to this poll, will NOT inform on those they know to be involved in terrorist activities. And this is after New York, Washington, Bali, Morroco, Madrid, Beslan etc. etc…

    I cannot fathom the utter depths of immorality induced by Islamic dehumanization of the Infidel enemy.

  9. says

    “If they want Sharia Law then let them return to Pakistan.”

    When Britain ruled India (including what’s now Pakistan), it administered Sharia law, through the Indian courts, for Moslems in exactly those kinds of cases for which it is being proposed in Britain (marriage, divorce, inheritance). Somehow the Brits managed to reconcile Sharia in those cases with a general common-law framework.

  10. says

    And indeed, Seamus, India is a poster child for a harmonious, peaceful, cohesive society.

    I mean, one never hears of any sort of religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India at all. Their two-tier law system (with one law for Muslims, one law for everyone else) works wonders in helping them maintain a peaceful, prosperous society.

  11. says

    “It confirms the overwhelming rejection of violence among British Muslims with 86 per cent saying they believe it is unacceptable for religious or political groups to use violence for political ends.”

    OK, so that means there are about 150,000 Muslims in the UK that support terrorism. What a fantastic community this is.

    “40 per cent saying they need to do more to integrate into mainstream British culture.”

    Even if all this 40% are sincere (which I doubt) that still means that 60% of Muslims don’t give a stuff about British culture and the wider community.

    Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country? I think the tsunami was just God trying to flush this vast toilet. I hope the world is generous with aid, and that they put Muslims to the back of the queue.

  12. says

    Former Liberal, beit dins(Jewish courts) settle civil matters within the Jewish community, grant divorces, etc. At times, non-Jews who do not want to wait for a civil case to come to trial have agreed to use a beit din (in new York, amongst other cities). The procedure is then rather like mediation- both parties agree to participate and therefore both will accept the ruling. Hope this helps.

  13. says

    “Their two-tier law system (with one law for Muslims, one law for everyone else) works wonders in helping them maintain a peaceful, prosperous society.”

    India does not have a “two-tier law system (with one law for Muslims, one law for everyone else).” Rather, “Systems of ‘personal law’ (in contrast to territorial law) regarding marriage, dowry, divorce, parentage, legitimacy, guardianship, religious and charitable endowments, wills, inheritance, succession, and so forth, continue to operate for Hindus, Muslims, Parsees, and Christians.” (See

    Whatever may be said against this legal regime, I’d be surprised to see any evidence that it’s responsible for religious conflict in India.

    I would point out that under the proposal in Britain (unlike the legal regime in India today or under the Raj), the decisions of sharia courts (like those of rabbinical or Catholic canon law courts) in matters of personal law would only be enforced by the civil authorities if the parties had voluntarily submitted to those courts. (I’m not sure if the same can be said of CofE ecclesiastical courts; they may have more power, deriving from the Establishment of the CofE as the State Church.) In effect, such courts are a species of arbitration tribunal.

  14. says

    “When Britain ruled India (including what’s now Pakistan), it administered Sharia law, through the Indian courts, for Moslems in exactly those kinds of cases for which it is being proposed in Britain (marriage, divorce, inheritance). Somehow the Brits managed to reconcile Sharia in those cases with a general common-law framework.”


    Seamus, I spent one and a half years in India and my wife is Indian. The legal system there is so corrupt and slow, that it is nothing more than a sick joke. For anybody to look to India as an example of a good legal system is just beyond words.

    You talk about the British Raj. The British incorporated all legal systems into the law courts (even primitive tribal laws) simply to avoid riots and uprisings. Is this where we have got to in the UK?

    I have a book of Lushai (Mizo – N. E. India) laws, upheld by the British, in British local courts. The book of Lushai law was put together by N. E. Parry, Superintendent of the Lushai Hills in September 1927. (Reprinted by the Tribal Research Institute, Aizawl, 1976).

    I quote from the following law book, to show you how ridiculous the legal system in British India actually was, (this stupidity also extended to granting Muslim communities sharia laws).


    Section 2-1. Courting or Nula-rim.-(a) When a youth is going courting he usually takes with him a boy, who is known as a puarak. The puarak’s job is to act as an intermediary between the lovers and see them actually sleeping together. The object of this is to enable the puarak to give definite evidence on the point if later on the girl finds that people are saying that she and her lover have been sleeping together and consequently brings a suit against him for defamation If the case arises the puarak steps in and says he actually saw the lovers sleeping together and where the fact of intercourse can be so proved the girl can get no compensation. Where, however, there was no puarak and no eye witness to the intercourse, if it is shown that the man has been saying that he slept with the girl and he afterwards cannot prove it, the girl is entitled to Rs. 40 from him for having defamed her.”


    Section 3:14 ZANGZAW or Impotence: If the woman accuses her husband of being impotent and he denies it the custom is for a man to be placed to sleep near the couple to see what really happens and to report. If the woman’s claim is found to be false, she has to pay her husband Rs. 40 or a Sepui. (This custom seems rather strange but it is still actually followed and I have dealt with cases in which it has been resorted to. In a case which occurred in Aijal [Aizawl] a few years ago, the man appointed to watch the couple was accompanied by the mother of the wife who had claimed that her husband was impotent, both these witnesses reported that the husband was fully competent, and the case was decided by the Thakthing Panchayet, who fined the wife Rs. 40. The wife appealed to the Superintendent who confirmed the Panchayet decision and dismissed the appeal.)


    Section 4-5. KHUMPUI KAIMAN.- The term Khumpui Kaiman means literally ‘the fine for getting on the khumpui or big bed’ . The unmarried and small children of a Lushai family all sleep together with their parents on the khumpui or big bed. If there are so many that they cannot all find room on the khumpui, some of the elder girls sleep on the floor close to the khumpui and the place they sleep on is treated. as part of the khumpui. It often happens that a young man will come into the house at night to make love to one of the girls and if he is caught within reach of the khumpui he is liable to a fine of Rs.10 and salam [a fine payable to the chief. Lit. The meat fine]. It makes no difference whether the girl and her lover have merely been making love or whether they have had sexual intercourse, the fine is the same. The reason for inflicting a fine is not because the parties have been making love, this they are at liberty to do as they like but partly because there is always a danger that in the dark the lover may mistake the house holder’s wife for her daughter and partly to compensate parents for the shame they undergo by the girl and her lover making love on their khumpui.